The Leadership Team for Child Welfare Services (CWS) consists of the CWS Program Manager, and four social worker supervisors.
Program Manager Sherry Wehbey is responsible for the oversight of the Child Welfare Program and ensures compliance with federal/state/county mandates and that appropriate services are being provided to families.
Social Worker Supervisors:
Brianna McGuire: Responsible for the Adoptions Team with two Adoptions Social Workers, managing caseloads of children and families referred for adoption related services, and for managing the Adoption Assistance Program.
Mindy Gonzalez: Responsible for Initial Response/Court Team Social Workers, Ongoing Social Workers, and a Social Service Aide in the Corning field office, as well as serves as the liaison for the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).
Cheryl Jackson: Responsible for Initial Response/Court Team Social Workers, Ongoing Social Workers, and serves as the staff training officer and as the county liaison for the California State University Chico Social Work Intern Program.
Steven Dickerson: Responsible for Intake Team consisting of Intake Screener Social Workers, Initial Response/Court Team Social Worker, Ongoing Social Workers, as well as supervision of Legal Clerks, and liaison for the Dependency Drug Court.
Tehama County has two full-time social worker “intake screeners” who receive information from the community regarding possible abuse and neglect. The Intake Team gathers extensive information to determine if the referral alleges abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and if an in-person response is indicated. The Intake Team uses the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Hotline Tool and the Differential Response model to aid in this determination and decide what kind of response would best serve the needs of the child and family.
Initial Response/Court (IRC) Team
The Initial Response/Court Team is comprised of approximately five full-time social workers who are the first responders when an allegation of abuse/neglect has been determined to require a response. Tehama County CWS categorizes referrals deemed to require an in-person response by a social worker into two types either “immediate” (referrals requiring a response within 24 hours after the information was received) or “10-day” (referrals requiring a response within 10 days after the information was received). The Differential Response model assists the Intake Team in determining what type of response would be most appropriate for the family and the referral and it provides a framework for the IRC Team social workers to engage families by encouraging the social worker to partner with appropriate community partners/resource agencies when responding to the referral.
After conducting an assessment of the family, the IRC Team member will determine the outcome of the referral (substantiated, inconclusive, or unfounded) and ensure the safety of the child. The IRC Team uses the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Safety Assessment Tool to help make decisions about whether the child can safely remain in their home or if an alternative plan of out-of-home care (relative care, foster care) is necessary.
The IRC Team Social Worker will make every effort to maintain a child in their own home if safety interventions can be developed with the family. Families may enter into a “safety plan” to help mitigate the issues in the short term, or can also participate in voluntary services with Child Welfare if the issues need a longer time to be adequately addressed.
Families who are facing the removal of their child from their home will be invited to participate in a Team Decisionmaking meeting to help determine if any measures can be taken to prevent removal and ensure the child’s safety at home. If the circumstances of a referral necessitate immediate removal of the child from the family home then the family will be invited to a different kind of Team Decisionmaking meeting to help determine if the child can safely return home or, if not, where will the child live while the parents address the concerns at hand.
If court ordered intervention is deemed necessary, the IRC Team member will process the court information and work with the family initially to engage in services before the case is transferred to a member of the Permanency Team.
The Ongoing Team is responsible for working with families who are involved in a Child Welfare case and the court has determined that continued child welfare service intervention is warranted. The Ongoing Team develops case plans with families, provides referral and access to identified services, and provides ongoing support and case management. The Ongoing Team members recommend the disposition of the case i.e.: Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, Permanency Planning, or Adoption.
The Tehama County Department of Social Services Adoptions Team is a local public adoption agency. The Adotoptions Team provides adoption assessment services for children after efforts to return children to their family home have been exhausted. The team works collaboratively with the case carrying CPS Social Worker throughout the assessment process. The Adoptions Team works with the Placement Support Team regarding assessment and recruitment of families in the community that wish to adopt children. The team conducts adoptive home studies, and works with private adoption agencies that provide home study services within the county. The team assists families with access and referral to service after adoption, and administers the Adoption Assistance Program.
The Placement Support Team consists of a Placement Social Worker, Team Decisionmaking (TDM) Facilitator, Licensing Social Worker, and two or three Social Service Aides. The goal of the Placement Support Team is to provide placement services and supports to children and caregivers in the least restrictive setting possible. The Placement Support Team works to ensure placement stability by encouraging relative and non-related extended family member (NREFM) care as well as by providing support to Tehama County licensed foster homes and training opportunities. The PST is actively involved in promoting the values of the Family to Family model and providing families with a voice with regard to the placement of children in Child Welfare Services.